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Home » Recipes » Sal's Orange Blossom Ale
Sal's Orange Blossom Ale
The Sal's (Junior and Senior) dropped a little Southern California magic on the club with their Orange Blossom Ale using carefully chosen fresh picked orange blossoms. This is a little different, since this beer was produced from a second runnings mash.
Style:    Experimental / Speciality
Brewed by:    Sal Sciortino (Jr & Sr)
Batch Size:    7 Gallons
Boil Time:    60 Minutes
Actual OG:    1.040
Recipe Index
Grains, Extracts, Sugars
Malt Name Maltster Amount Percentage
2-Row Great Western 28.75 lbs 82%
Malted Rye 6.25 lbs 18%
Crystal 120L 0.75 lbs (Cap)
Hops
Name Form Alpha Amount Time
Amarillo Pellet --% 0.50 oz 60
Yeast
Man. Code Name Type Amount (Starter)
Wyeast 1056 Chico Ale Ale
Mash Schedule
Step Rest Temp Rest Time Heat Water
Second Mash 150°F 60 3.75 Gallons
Extras
1/2 lb
Fresh picked Orange Blossoms (at knockout)
Notes

The Sals have done this beer few times in the past having been inspired by a beer sampled at the Southern California Homebrewer's Festival in Temecula.

The grain bill looks out of whack for 7 gallons of 1.040 beer and that's because the Sal's brewed a stronger beer (a Rye IPA) from the first runnings of the mash. To the unsparge mash, they added back another volume of strike water and rested for 60 minutes at 150F. Just before draining and preparing to sparge, they added the Crystal malt as a "cap" to boost the fresh caramel malt character to the partially spent grainbed.

A mesh bag of Amarillo hops was added after the beer had been boiling for 15 minutes and then removed just prior to knockout. After removing the hops, Sal added a mesh bag full of Orange blossoms to steep in the wort through whirlpooling and chilling. The beer was oxygenated and pitched with a slurry of 1056 and then fermented for 2 weeks before being transfered and aged before kegging.

Sal Jr. writes about finding the right Orange Blossoms for the beer.

Fresh orange blossoms are not available year-round. They open for about two weeks, and then they're gone for a year. So you have to know when to collect them.

There's also a trick to collecting them. You would prefer to take only the blossoms that have just opened -- the ones that look perfect and beautiful. You can see the sticky, sugary stem-like projections inside the blossom that emit the aroma. That's what you want. If you pick them too early, you get a "green" flavor, like an orange peel. If you pick them too late, they're shriveled, and they don't offer as much aroma.

On a given tree, not all the blossoms open at the same time. So you pick the best time, and then you pick the best blossoms.

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